more on bicycling

I tried Saddle #4 today.

Saddle #1 = Saddle that came with my bike, Riva Sport Plus, 155 mm

Saddle #2 = Selle Italia SLR Lady Flow, 131 mm

You can see this saddle looks visibly different from the one above.  I bought it because of the large gap, but what I didn’t realize was how much narrower it was.

Saddle #3 = Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow, 152 mm

I hoped this one would be a compromise between the hard, racing saddle with the large channel, and the more cushioned saddle that came with my bike.  However, it felt just like the one that came with my bike (not comfortable.)

Saddle #4 = Specialized Power saddle, 155 mm

There are a bunch of different versions of this saddle, and I bought the cheapest, the Power Comp.  The more expensive versions are lighter and in some cases less padded.  I’m definitely not in a situation where ounces matter, and less padding doesn’t seem ideal.  The version I got was not particularly well padded.  The version I got wasn’t very padded, so I can only imagine how hard the unpadded version is.

Anyway, I’ve now done about 40 mi on the Specialized Power, and it’s definitely the best option so far.  It’s a marked improvement over the saddle that came with my bike.  With my original saddle, I really started experiencing serious discomfort by around 30 mi, and felt I just couldn’t go much more than about 40 mi with it.  I’m cautiously optimistic that a better saddle for me will allow me to cycle longer distances.  I do have one more to try, and then I’ll make a decision and sell or return the rejects.

Today’s 30 mi ride featured more than 2000 feet of elevation gain.  It’s definitely the hilliest ride I’ve done this year, and it featured two particularly difficult hills.  I don’t mind a long, gradual hill, even if it climbs a substantial amount of elevation.  However, the very steep sections, just kill me, even if they’re relatively short.   The first hill was only about 130 ft, per Strava, but was about half 11% grade or more.  The second hill was 250 ft and also included a large section at 11% or more.  I did manage to get to the top, but only just.




3 thoughts on “more on bicycling

  1. Sarah

    Do you have a local cycling shop? Often they have ways to let you try out multiple saddles.

    I haven’t cycled regularly in several years now, but in my experience I never found one that was 100% comfortable. I think part of it is the saddle, and part is just putting in enough miles to get your butt used to it. (Although you are certainly putting in a good number of miles, so perhaps it really is just finding the right saddle for you at this point!)

  2. admin Post author

    I did think about going to the bike shop, but I decided to be lazy instead. I think I’m going to be able to nearly break even reselling the ones I decide not to keep, and this allows me to cycle a good distance. I really don’t start to feel the discomfort until about 10 miles in, you know?

    I do wonder if you’re right about getting used to it. I am putting in some miles, but I was using a software saddle, so I think part of it is just getting used to a harder saddle. I don’t think any amount of getting used to it would have resolved the issues I was having with the original saddle, but I’m hoping my sit bones can toughen up a bit.

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